Thursday, December 16, 2010

HANGTUFF Suspension Trainer by

RJ "Hanging Out" with new HANGTUFF by

At last! I got my HANGTUFF from good friend Richard "Army" Maguire of!  This is the very first HANGTUFF sold to anyone--I am honored to have it and use it.  Army is a good friend of mine--one that I trust both personally and professionally.  He is also mentoring me on the Indian Clubs and fighting sticks which are two more topics of future discussion, but today, my focus is his new HANGTUFF!

So what is the HANGTUFF?  It's a very simple yet effective suspension trainer.  It can do anything the other suspension trainers can do (many are available now in different forms), but it's a lot faster at some of these exercises--suspended push ups, flys, rows, core work, pull ups, and more.  For now, I'm just focusing on my low back.

I've developed some nagging low back pain.  I've tried everything--including all the stuff I use to fix nearly everyone else's back pain.  I've been very successful helping others with back pain, yet I'm struggling with my own! Oh I've tried it all--less work, more work, the same work, joint mobility, kettlebell correctives like the windmill, Turkish Get Up, arm bar, biofoam roller, trigger point release balls, body weight exercises.  Nothing "bad" about the above--it just has not worked for my own back issues that well.  Maybe it's all just me--who knows.  All I know is how I feel.

Some of the above makes my back feel "kind of sort of" better--I'll be sharing all this with everyone very soon by the way--but with the exception to just a few, nothing gave me immediate relief or led me to believe this is really something significant for "my" own back issue.  After just four minutes hanging upside down on Army's HANGTUFF, my back pain was nearly GONE.  Is my back healed from a few minutes of inversion on the HANGTUFF?  No.  I would be lying if I said otherwise.  I have more work to do, more experimentation, more endurance and discipline with certain tools and methods, but I can tell you straight up and NO BS, that the HANGTUFF is going to part of this solution and a most likely daily part of my routine.  The HANGTUFF will stay in my "permanent" bag of tools for serious fitness and health--I don't roll over time with anything less by the way.

Yeah...we can talk "root cause" and whether or not the inversion is really dealing with the cause of my back pain, but I'm here to tell you, when your back is a pain in the arse, you'll gladly take "natural" pain relief and like it!  I sit too much like most people!  In my car driving at times over 3,000 miles per month, at the computer (like now!), in meetings, etc.  All this sitting might not be the actual cause, but it surely makes things worse.

I've had guys tell me for years that one of the best things they did to help back pain was hanging or inversion, and as long as they did inversion, their backs were just fine.  The upside down "inversion" helps restore space between your joints without the compression of gravity pushing down--just this alone can alleviate some nerve pain pronto.  Historically, there have been all kinds of things from inversion boots to standing table things that flip you upside down, but often this equipment has been too bulky or too hard to use for most people.  I found once Army showed me the set up, it was quite easy to find my way with it.  The HANGTUFF is simple--like me.  I like that about it. 

I talked to Army Maguire about the construction and design.  He has only used high-quality materials--from foam to webbing to even the thread that holds it together--very high quality.  I felt safe hanging inverted on the HANGTUFF which is more than I can say about a lot of equipment I've seen and tried over the years.

The HANGTUFF is just now going into production.  If you're interested in having one, contact Richard "Army" Maguire at Agelesstrength in Los Angeles.  Army has another new product out too that I'm using called the "Chubby" strike bag.  Great for punching, Filipino fighting sticks, hand conditioning, etc. and small enough to be portable.  Really a versatile bag, and again like all of Army's work, it is a VERY high-quality product.  All the links are below including more photos of me hangin' on Army's new HANGTUFF.

I'll will be doing more photos on the actual "fitness" exercises you can do on the HANGTUFF soon along with some video as well.  I'll also be interviewing Army Maguire soon for The Lean Berets too as he and his products are part of the solution for getting Americans MOVING and moving WELL. 

I hope you find benefit in Army's work and products--I know I have and so has my own family.  In Health, Coach RJ

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More Writing...

I need to write for the sake and joy of writing again today. I have no idea what to write about, but I'll put e-pen to e-paper...

My friend Q contacted me the other day. His shoulder hurt. I shot a quick video and sent it to him. He tried the moves in the library and felt better. It's a good start and beats the surgery his doctors were talking about. A lady saw him doing the shoulder mobility exercises and was asking him if it would help her arthritis too. First step? Be OPEN to change! Say what? Heal yourself.

My buddy Kevin Rail was watching the news the other day. They were talking about these bogus lap-band surgeries so many people are buying into these days. Most of them have complications--30% of them are removed because they don't work. Outrageous! Within 24 hours I found that a government panel which included bariatric surgeons decided in their infinite clinical wisdom to open these procedures up for the "less than" morbidly obese--basically meaning it will be easier for people to get these instead of dealing with their own obesity the natural way...EAT LESS!!!

I took the Turbos on a new hike today. They had fun. It was an adventure for them. The trail had a few drop offs--little more technical and less monkey business required (difficult indeed for daughter Ronnie who thinks she IS a monkey!). They did well. No chopper evacuations required today thank God. I took some nice photos of them. They are hiking machines! NO lap-bands needed with these kids in the near future. They were quiet and tired in the car on the way home which lasted about 15 minutes then they were Turbos again ready to go. The energy of these seven-year olds cease to amaze me.

My office is a mess. I need to clean. Cleaning gives me some order. The office can be a daunting task, yet it must be done. I love a clean car! It gives me some sense of organization--it feels good to roll the clean wheels. Maybe it's a SoCal thing? My wife is from the midwest. She doesn't get the clean car thing. Cars to her are for transportation. Cars in LA are your ride man! Not that I get too carried away with the whole car thing, but it is part of my culture being from the Left Coast in SoCal.

Tempus fugit, RJ

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Creative Writing

I need to write more. I don't need to write more business e-mails--I'm talking about creative writing with some style. I really don't care if anyone reads these posts because I need to practice--use it or lose it even with writing. One of my degrees is in English Literature. I've probably forgotten more than I know at this point; however, there is no time like the present to start getting it back!
I started thinking about good writing the other week after reading Dave Draper's newsletter. Dave Draper is a legendary guy in fitness and body building. What's really interesting about Dave is that he not only knows a lot about fitness and health--but he is one hell of a great writer and philosopher of sorts. He has a great reflective and creative style. Good writing makes you THINK and dig deep about things of substance. Good writing goes beyond TMZ crap and the latest junk food for the mind...we need more good writing.
It bothers me the way people write today. It's not that I'm a grammar king--far from it, but at least I can compose a decent sentence, paragraph, article, and commincate so people can actually understand what the hell I'm saying. I've "attempted" to read and comprehend business messages from college graduates--some of which have been extremely difficult to understand because they are so poorly written. I've seen grammar school kids that spell better than some adults today. It's unacceptable. People write e-mails or even business communications like a stupid text message--here's a tip for the youngsters--it makes you look stupid. If you keep lowering the bar and thinking it doesn't matter, we'll become a nation of moronic idiots...not that far from it at the present.
Enough rants on grammar and spelling (before I make my own mistakes).
Some of the most pleasurable writing I have done was creative writing. Sure--I love the science handouts I create, but they are nothing like a good creative piece or even an inspired interview. One of my somewhat recent stories was on "The Gym" in Ventura, California. I wrote a story about The Gym's founder Dan Mackey a couple years ago after his passing. It was a good piece--one with some historical value but also some creative flair. I think Dan would have liked it. Dan reminds me of Dave Draper--I only got to speak with Dan a couple of times before he died, but that guy was a real philosopher too--way beyond just the "business" of fitness and health. Check out my story if you want some real inspiration--not from me, but from Dan.
Enough writing tonight--not perfect grammar because it's "creative." When you know a few rules--you can break them too.
Tempus fugit, RJ

Friday, September 17, 2010

Female STRENGTH-Candas Jones, RKC

My wife Candas VERY pregnant with twins

I just posted a new podcast radio show for The Lean Berets with my wife and RKC Candas Jones. Candas addresses "Female STRENGTH" and has some training tips for the ladies that are also busy with kids and family and job. She talks about how she went for a self-proclaimed "Volkswagen" when she was pregnant with twins to having her six-pack ABS now...and without doing crunches! We spent some time talking about her recent RKC certification experience too. I hope it inspires some ladies to get fit and be strong. Power to you ladies!!!

Candas "Female STRENGTH" Show link:

In Strength, Coach RJ!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Therapy Tools

"The Rotator" Shoulder Therapy Tool
I just put up a new web section and handout on "Therapy Tools for Self-Help." I've been working on it around three years and writing it since last December!

I use some very "unique" tools for effective self-healing like: The Rotator, The Stick, The FootLog, MarV Handles, Neti Pot, Theracane, YogaToes, plus other "fitness" items like KBs, Indian Clubs, TRX, & balls that are used in very different ways. There are even more listed on my weblink below. I hope they help you!
In PROactive Health, Coach RJ!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Foot-Friendly Safety Boots

Carolina #CA1424 Women's Boot
Above is a Men's Wolverine #WO4707 "Slip On" boot--my #1 Choice.

My speciality in Corporate Wellness is with industrial companies. While I can work with any culture, I enjoy the industrial end of wellness. I got a tip from one of my guys about "safety" boots (boots with special steel or carbon toes and shank protection, etc.) that were meeting my "foot-friendly" recommendations for being flexible. I have found that the more flexible your shoes (or even safety boots), the happier your feet will be and the better your brain can control your movements. Our feet should really be thought of as "sensory organs" that have an extremely important job beyond just moving us down the neurological feedback to the brain!

I was pleasantly surprised that even steel-toe safety boots are now being made more flexible and what I call "Foot Friendly."

To view my "Foot-Friendly Safety Boots" handout, see link below.

In Foot-Fitness...Industrial Grade! -Coach RJ

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kettlebells for Warriors-Mike Krivka, RKC

The Lean Berets just posted a new show with Mike Krivka, RKC on the Kettlebells For Warriors events going on around the country to raise funds and awareness for our Wounded Warrior soldiers returning from middle east conflicts with severe injuries.

This is a VERY important mission with a higher purpose. I hope you check out the show and the Kettlebells For Warriors events and information. You can listen to the show and learn more at the link below:

These events are "Throw Down Approved" by The Lean Berets-Avengers of Health!

In Fitness & Freedom, Coach RJ

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Z-Health Thought of the Day: Brain Mapping & Touch Receptors

I’ve been talking to a lot of people about how the brain “maps” our movements based on proprioceptor input. Proprioception of our body’s ability to sense where it is in space. For example, are you leaning forward? Backward? Sideways? Are you standing perpendicular to the horizon? Is your body rotating? If so, which direction? Is someone touching you? If so, how much pressure are they applying? How much force do you feel on your feet? Your hands? Your back? Basically, we use vision, inner ear, and mechanoreceptors around our joints to sense proprioception. Proprioception is “all the body all the time.” Our “brain map” is constantly updating millions of times per year based on all the input. If you have good “map clarity” then your body knows how to move. If your map clarity is poor, your movements can be awkward, guarded, and inefficient. What we want is good map clarity so we know where we are going and how to get there—efficiently and safely.

The brain prioritizes real estate! All parts are not created equal when it comes to brain power. The area of our bodies with the most amount of brain power are the hands. The next two areas of highest receptor importance are the feet and facial area around the lips and tongue.

As we might imagine, the hands and mouth are extremely important and sensitive…but once again…let’s talk FEET!

The feet—often overlooked and disrespected in America until something goes wrong. Each foot has 26 bones. Both feet together have ¼ of the bones in your body—plus a very high percentage of the brain power! Respect the feet! What happens or does not happen at the ground with the feet will significantly change your body moving through space above.

To see this receptor “brain real estate” representation graphically, you can look at the “Homunculus” drawing. You’ll see the hands are HUGE along with the feet and oral area—this is where most of our brain power is directed.

The University of Washington has an awesome “Neuroscience for Kids” section that explains the Homunculus is simple terms. Check it out below—yes—it’s also a good place for adults to begin! (Brain Mapping Receptor Tutorial)

Move well. Improve your neural map clarity, and appreciate your brain and body for it is truly amazing. Take care of it. Exercise. Eat healthy food that will HELP your brain. If you work “with” your brain and central nervous system, things can change fast in a positive direction. The brain rules. Work with it. You’ll be glad you did.

In MOVEment,
Coach RJ

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flexible Shoes Prevent Arthritis Study

Yet more on the importance of our feet and the “less is more” trend in shoes my foot fitness friends! Sound familiar? It should by now.

Want less knee pain, less back pain, less everything pain? Fix your feet and ankles. Hmmm…”
Ground Forces Math” again…

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2010) — Flip-flops and sneakers with flexible soles are easier on the knees than clogs or even special walking shoes, a study by Rush University Medical Center has found. And that's important, because loading on the knee joints is a key factor in the development of osteoarthritis.
In Foot Fitness! Coach RJ

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Z-Health Thought of the Day: How to find Healthy Shoes

We've been talking a lot lately about the importance of "foot fitness" and shoes. I'm learning more and more with Z-Health too about how important our feet are neurologically especially when you consider the Ground Forces Math involved with each foot strike.

On these notes, I found a great shoe review section. It's a "bare foot" website, but the point is to find shoes that you can wear that let your feet function more like they are bare foot i.e. less restriction.

The new trend in shoes is "less is more." You will see more and more shoes being built with less support and more flexibility, so the feet can do what they were designed to do in the first place--stabilize. All of our fancy running shoes to correct pronation, supination, poor stabilization basically got this result--more injuries! Want to fix all these problems the right way? Improve the fitness of your feet!!! Even work boots now are being made to flex properly so the feet can do what they need to do. I'll be developing this idea a lot in 2010, but for now, here is the review site and one very simple rule to find a "foot healthy" shoe!

To find a shoe that is foot healthy, simply pick it up, turn it over, and apply these two tests:
1. Break it in half at the arch
2. Twist it diagonally at the arch

Most shoes will only break at the toe box area, but the shoe needs to actually break in the middle section. If the shoe is too stiff to "twist" then the foot cannot function properly.

I bought one pair of Ecko shoes that my feet LOVE. I never understood why until taking the Z-Health training. When I got home, I tested the Eckos, and sure enough, they broke in the middle and twisted! That's why my feet love them--because my feet can function properly! The new Nike Free running shoes also do this well. Converse One Stars will also pass this test along with others--see review site for more specifics.

Here's the review section. Look for more and more major brands coming out with more healthy shoes, but if in doubt, just apply the rules above to any shoe you might want to purchase. True--not all of my shoes will break and flex in the middle, but more and more my feet know the difference and say NO when I put on the shoes that do not meet the criteria above. Think of Ground Forces Math--the better your feet hit the ground, the better you will walk, and the healthier you will be.
In Foot Fitness! Coach RJ

Z-Health Thought of the Day: Startle Reflex

One of the enemies of efficiency is the "Startle Reflex." The other is Sensory Motor Amnesia where people literally forget how to move. Let's address Startle Reflex.
Startle Reflex is hard wired into our brains for the purpose of survival. In certain situations, covering up the face and vital organs is of critical importance for SURVIVAL!!! However, far too many people are chronically in some degree of startle regarding their posture which makes it impossible to move with optimal efficiency. Here are some of the effects of startle by body region:
Head: Moves forward to cover up cervical spine.
Face: Tense jaw and squint eyes to protect mouth and face.
Shoulders: Elevates to shield throat and cervical spine.
Chest: Rounds forward to protect throat, heart, lungs, and other vital organs.
Ribs: The space in-between gets smaller to protect the lungs.
Abdomen: Flexes forward to guard organs and load for a more stable base of support in case we need to run.
Glutes: Contracts to tip pelvis forward and helps put torso in flexion for running away.
Legs: Adduct towards midline to protect groin, calves load to increase stability and balance.
All these are critically important for survival and will work INSTANTLY without any cognitive thought when your life is threatened, but over extended periods of time it is not healthy to be in such a state with such extreme postural deviations. Look around today--you'll see people everywhere exhibiting these sorts of postures and signs of "startle" because they are in some degree of threat. When you think about how the body senses lack of movement as threat, and how most people SIT all day and hardly move, it's no wonder so many of us now have "threat" postures related to the Startle Reflex. In nature, an animal that never moves gets eaten. This is how our brains are wired for survival. MOVE OR DIE!!!
With Z-Health, we facilitate removing threat, removing chronic startle reflex, and ultimately removing pain as well. Do all that and life will improve along with your movement too!
In MOVEment, Coach RJ

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Z-Health Thought of the Day: "Opposing Joints"

Our joints have a lot to do with proprioception. It’s a big word, but basically proprioception is our body’s ability to sense its position in space. Are you leaning forward, falling, slipping, spinning, tilting, speeding up, slowing down, etc.? We have receptors in our joints that sense all these and give IMMEDIATE feedback to the brain. Other ways to sense proprioception are vision and vestibular (ears).

The cool thing about proprioception is that it is all the body all the time. Our bodies are constantly re-evaluating our positions to make corrections and adjustments—millions and millions of times per year. The mechanoreceptors which are highly concentrated around our joints move at 300 MPH, so this happens really fast! Mechanoreceptors are all over the body—not just at joints—but they are more concentrated at the borders of joints, so working with the joints is a more efficient way to tap into this existing system. Ever felt a bug crawling on your skin? A really small bug or insect not even biting you? Thank the mechanoreceptors in your skin and hair follicles that sense movement!

While all the joints are connected at some level, certain joint areas have a more direct connection to other joint sites—these are called “opposing joints.” It’s really pretty fascinating how “everything is connected” and how we have these diagonal and spiral relationships in the body.

Here’s a short list of opposing joints. One is very connected to the other. If you have pain in one—you are likely to also have pain in the other. If one area is too painful for me to work on with you, I can use the opposing joint relationship to go to a “different” part of your body which can then reduce pain and increase mobility in the opposing joint that was originally hurting more. That is cool. I’ve already used this method to help people with Z-Health. One lady had really bad right hip pain, so I went to her left shoulder—then her right hip got better within minutes!!!

Here’s the short list of “Opposing Joints”

Low Back-Mid Back

*Example? Got a shoulder problem? It can likely be caused by an immobile hip that forces you to compensate all the time with your shoulder—often the “opposing” shoulder! Remember—where mobility is lost it will be gained at another joint as a compensation. Lose hip mobility—the shoulder might be forced into hyper mobility to compensate which puts the shoulder at risk for injury.

Think about where you might have pain, but don’t stop “where it hurts” because the root cause is likely somewhere else. This is a big lesson of Z-Health for me. Keep looking beyond where it hurts to find where the problem actually started. Sort of like root cause analysis but for our health and movement instead of a mechanical or factory processes at work. Traditional methods often miss this important point. Yes—the shoulder rotator cuff can be repaired, but what caused the tear? Where is the root cause? If we don’t find it, we might be looking at another shoulder repair! This exact scenario has presented to me quite often the last ten years. The real problem never got fixed by the surgery…back to square #1…how do you move?!!!

In Healthy MOVEment!
Coach RJ

Monday, March 8, 2010

Z-Health Thought of the Day: Enemies of Efficiency

There are two enemies of efficiency regarding human movement:

1. Startle Reflex
2. Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA)

Startle Reflex: Startle is hard wired into our bodies for survival. In extreme situations, startle reflex is a good thing to help us survive. Startle is “precognitive” meaning we can’t control it with active thought. If someone jumps at you in the darkness with a baseball bat—certain actions are going to take place in your body to protect your vital organs from damage for purposes of survival whether you think about them or not. Basically, you do two observable body actions when in startle—you flex and adduct. Flexion means you’ll draw arms up and legs up, etc. Adduction means you bring your arms and legs closer to your center or midline. Think of the “Startle Reflex” as being in the fetal position--or at least moving closer to the fetal position. Great for short term survival at times—but BAD for the long term movements when going about your daily business. It’s impossible to move well while in startle, yet millions of Americans are in chronic startle postures today; hence; they are very inefficient with their daily movements.

Sensory Motor Amnesia: The best way to describe SMA is that the body “has forgotten how to move.” One of the hardest parts of my job is working with people that basically have no clue about what is moving or how to move it. I literally have to place a person’s foot or hand or arm sometimes into a certain position. They have no sense of “kinesthetic awareness” regarding how to move—basically SMA. I have also found that a person can have SMA in one part of their body but not another. For example, a quarterback might have great ability to throw a ball with the upper body but might have poor control at the foot and ankle. Think of it this way though--if he had better control at the foot and ankle he would definately have better control with the upper body throwing as well. Alas, it can be frustrating for the person and the movement coach, but the body has amazing ability to re-learn and improve how it moves with the correct input and movement drills. It can be done!!!

The Z-Health system is built on correcting these two enemies of efficiency. We work to eliminate startle reflex and bring a person back into a neutral posture which is the best position from which to generally move while using the initial drills. How do we remove threat with Z? By doing the Z-Health dynamic joint mobility drills with NO PAIN-NO THREAT. It’s not how fast or how big the movements are—but how quality while pain free—a vastly different approach than traditional gym workouts, but one that is mandatory for optimizing your central nervous system.

To restore your sensory motor awareness, we perform very small and precise joint movements to re-educate the central nervous system so it can you move better. A person can quickly feel where they are and how to move if the correct dynamic joint mobility exercises are performed with high quality and at the correct speeds. Remember—it’s not a “workout” or about going hard and fast. Z-Health is about letting your brain know it’s okay to move because it’s pain free without threat.

Trust me—it works. However, you will never “get it” by reading about Z-Health—you must “learn by wholistic experience” which is also referred as “somatic learning.”

More on specifics of “Threat Response” to posture and bodily functions in future posts!
In MOVEment, Coach RJ

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Z-Health Thought of the Day: Is Running Healthy or High-Risk?

On my way to work in Paso Robles the other day, I saw a man running with very awkward and inefficient form and started thinking about the “Ground Forces Math” note I sent out earlier. Then the big picture became much more clear in my own mind regarding all kinds of movement—not just running.

Let’s go back to ground forces math for a moment. A 200 pound man “running” with poor form will multiply his body weight about nine times for each heel strike. That would be 1800 pounds each stride. Using Newton’s Laws of Motion, we know that the force will follow a “line” into the ground and coming back up. If your ankles do not work correctly, it will change the “line of force” at your knees or hips (other joints as well) causing “force leaks.” Now think about 1800 pounds sheering at your knees and hips every single foot strike—NOT good!

So, the question I constantly get is this… "Is running bad for your knees?” Based on what I know and have been reading, it’s not running in general that is bad—it’s “HOW” people run! If your knees and joints are lined up properly, the biomechanics will work correctly to take you where you want to go. If not, you will probably still get there but with the “emergency brakes” on your movement—and possibly even a catastrophic failure or at least pain. Evidence? Look at all the joint replacement surgeries today versus 30 years ago. What has changed? Sure—more technology has made these surgeries an option today, but years ago we didn’t really need them for the most part. So what has changed? We sit and don’t move much. The body senses lack of movement in joints as a THREAT and will lock up joint surfaces to keep the problem joints out of the equation…trust me…this is a BIG problem we need to solve at the root cause failure level.

Once again, we need to start moving and moving well—then walking, running, sprinting, and basically all movement will be optimized. Where do we start? From the ground up is a good place to begin. Every single person I have worked on so far with Z-Health has had neurological inefficiency in their feet and ankles—including myself and my wife! Think about that and about how important it is to address these issues for injury prevention and quality of life…then let’s get busy correcting them!

In Movement,
Coach RJ

Z-Health Thought of the Day: Ground Forces Math

I'm not a math guy; I always did much better in English and art...and health of course. However, when I saw the math regarding ground forces with each walking stride, even I was impressed! What I have learned is that the fastest way to make a change in a person systemically is to work with their feet and ankles. Why? So I can improve their walking gait. Do the math. It's obvious. As I roll Z-Health into my daily business, the primary objective is to get people to walk better. Do the math-you'll see why. For people disabled in wheelchairs or walkers, I will shift up into the hands and wrists.

It all changes when the feet (or hands if using wheelchair) hit the ground!

A male weighing 200 pounds that doesn't have coordinated walking gait (most people in America basically), will triple their body weight per heel strike (Quality gait is 2x body weight per heel strike. Running=6-9x body weight. Sprinting=10-12x body weight).
*Ever wonder why "sprinters" are so muscular? It's largely because of the sprint gait itself remodeling their bodies due to the incredible ground forces math! 200x10=2000 pounds per foot strike!!! That's a lot of force and load which then causes the body to add muscle and bone density to handle these loads safely. Fascinating!

200 pounds x 3=600 pounds per heel strike during walking gait.

5,000 steps per day (somewhat sedentary or mildly active person)

600x5,000=3,000,000 (3 million) pounds per day

21,000,000 (21 million) pounds per week

84,000,000 (84 million) pounds per month

1,000,000,000 (1 BILLION) pounds+ per year!!!

Sorry-I don't have enough time to put 1 billion pounds of load on you in the gym even if I use all my kettlebells! But check this out...if I can improve how you walk, this becomes an exponential number even when I am not around to help you. Can you see how important this is to just improve walking gait? It's huge!

What I have learned is that by improving gait, most, if not all the problems all the way up the kinetic chain of movement can be improved or fixed. Got a neck problem? Fix how you walk. Got a shoulder problem? Hip? Knee? Many times it relates back into how the feet hit the ground and what happens from there up. Sometimes there can be an upper body problem that travels back down into the feet too-but more often than not, the feet and ankles are a great place to begin.

I expect many of you to walk better in 2010-it's that simple. Do the math. If we walk better, we do everything better whether it be running, kettlebells, hiking, swimming, or virtually ANY ACTIVITY. Quality gait means efficiency, and efficiency means optimized performance and safety. Want to come home Alive and Well Every Day? Walking better would be a great start! If you don't believe walking gait is a major safety and injury issue, check this out...

I began teaching people years ago about "force leaks" and Newton's Laws of Motion. Push force into the ground-this force comes right back up. If the "line" is crooked (joints are not lining up properly), the force line is altered. When you have 600 pounds of force pushing back up off the ground traveling up your body, and joints not working properly or aligned correctly, you not only lose performance in terms of strength and speed as the force "leaks" off the optimal line of strength and locomotion, but can add SHEER FORCE to your joint surfaces! Sheer force is one of the absolute worst things you can do to damage a joint surface. The alignment and function of your joints is absolutely critical to how safely you move and how well you move. When we talk about dynamic warm-ups and joint mobility with proper neurological function and biomechanical alignment-it's important!

For those with disabilities, we can do a lot with the hands and wrists to minimize shoulder, back, and neck issues. Your hands function as your feet, so if there are problems with how your hands roll on the wheels, or how your wrists articulate through the rolling pattern, we can have problems further up in the elbows, shoulders, etc.

So this is another sneak peek into my amazing transformation through Z-Health and neuroscience the last couple of months...and we are just getting started...I'm so excited because I have so many new tools and another great system for helping and healing people. It's getting to the point that if people around me want to move better with less or no pain-they will. It's that simple. Take the first step. I'll meet you half way. :)

Let's roll...and walk BETTER! Coach RJ

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: SUMMARY

So I completed The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge for the third year in a row! The "NO EXCUSES" strategy has truly changed my life and pushed me back into daily exercise. I'm a better man for it. I could talk for hours about all the benefits and the psychology behind it, but I'd like to just make one major point this year in summary regarding psychological "mood enhancement" in relation to America's growing problem with depression and prescription drugs to deal with it.
After three years and 30 days (1125 total days of exercise in a row for at least 30 minutes per day), I learned at least one important lesson. Most of these workouts I did NOT want to do, yet I did not regret even one single workout after it was completed. I had MANY days of personal struggle to put it mildly. The crap is life was still there after my workout, but I ALWAYS felt better and more able to cope after even a simple walk. The psychological benefits alone were worth the effort! Show me a drug with 100% success rate for 1125 days without any negative or unhealthy side effects! There isn't one. NOTHING out there can even come close to the mood enhancement or "anti-depression" benefits of daily exercise--nothing. And if you want even more benefit, go exercise outside instead of inside on a machine. A walk on a trail or through the neighborhood is second to none for a simple "attitude adjustment."
I hope this helps you. MOVE. GET OUTSIDE. FEEL BETTER. Do this and you will. I promise.
In MOVEment, Coach RJ!

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 30!!!

Mood: 7 (out of 10)

Workout: Z-Health, kettlebell demos for wife on deadlift, clean, press, and snatch then later I went out again to garage (Man Cave) for some more corrective exercises like KB arm bars, Turkish Get Ups, double clean and press with 30 second hold to "pry" open shoulders in overhead lockout position, and a little stretching out on the TRX.

Total Time: 60 minutes or so...

Comments: 30 more days for me of NO EXCUSES!!! Today actually marks THREE YEARS + 30 DAYS of consistent exercise for at least 30 minutes per day without missing one day. That's 1125 far...
I'll put up a summary soon of The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge experience soon for January 2010. Keep it real...and keep MOVING.

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 29

Mood: 8 (out of 10)

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, martial arts/self defense work on heavy bag for punching and round house kicks then did a dead lift workout at gym after some rowing machine to warm up again.

Total Time: 60+ minutes

Comments: Was still a little tired but had a great day of training today. Worked on my fundamentals for striking and kicking with my MA mentor Guro John then we shot down to a gym for some heavy dead lifts with the Olympic bar. Whoa! My butt hurts! That really get deep into my low glutes!!! I don't know a lot on Olympic lifts. It's not really my speciality. They worked with me on the safe technique which was nice to learn. I think I'll start doing them at home now that I know how to do them right. I have my own squat rack and Olympic weights so no excuses!!! Only one more day to get my 30 DAYS IN A ROW with NO EXCUSES!!!

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 28

Mood: 6 due to extreme fatigue (out of 10)

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health

Total Time: 30 minutes

Comments: After being crammed into my sports car for four hours, I was exhausted by the time I got home after 8PM. I was going to go for a walk but was too tired so just worked on joint mobility while watching the news on TV then went to bed...that was PLENTY for today. I had a ripping workout last night, so some rest and rejuvenation is in order anyway...tomorrow I go to Hollywood to do martial arts...I'll save some for tomorrow...

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 27

Luke's Man Cave-Paso Robles, CA
Miller & RJ the Conehead!

Mood: 8-9 (out of 10)

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, MAJOR kettlebell workout tonight HARDstyle! Double KB cleans, presses, snatches plus some bottoms up clean and press.

Total Time: 45 minutes or so...
Comments: Major Hardstyle throwdown tonight Comrades in the infamous man cave @ Luke's garage in Paso Robles, CA! I love hitting it hard with the boys on Wednesdays when I'm over there along the central coast. Hit an all time high PR tonight for the first a double snatch with two 24kgs. Not bad for a guy 50 years old that weighs 170 if that. Good times. Hard work. Best of times...Enjoying the Pain!!!

Making it HARDstyle, -Coach RJ!

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 26

Mood: 8 (out of 10)

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, Kettlebell Turkish Get Ups, Arm Bars, and some various KB demos for my peeps...

Total Time: 30+ minutes...I lost track...

Comments: Sort of mixed it up today with demos at work and a little stuff for myself too. Kept it a bit light because I'm shredding in Luke's man cave tomorrow night with the boys on the KBs! Got some nice feedback tonight from someone that has changed their life with simple daily exercise--and now his family is changing towards health too. Always good to hear that kind of keeps me moving.

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 25

Mood: 7 (out of 10)

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, double kettlebell clean and snatch with 16kg in five rep sets plus a few single presses with the 24kg at end of night then a few punches and kicks on the bag for good measure. Shot a few baskets in the street with the neighborhood kids too for a few minutes.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Comments: Another day of this tax filing! Finally got out into the man cave for a workout with wife Candas. A moderate workout intensity tonight. Was a little drained from the tax stuff, but still got my 30! Taxes be damned! I won't let the IRS break my exercise streak which is now at three years and 25 days!!!

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 24

Mood: 8 (out of 10)

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, slow walk on paseo path

Total Time: 45 minutes

Comments: I had a calm day today. I did what I needed to do. Worked around the house in my office. Watched the Vikings-Saints game with my son. Nice long walk at leisure pace--nothing hard today.

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 23

Mood: 8-9 (out of 10)

Workout: Taught my KB 101: Intro to Kettlebells workshop for corporate clients which includes going over my Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, many additional shoulder mobility drills, a little Z-Health, and quite a few CNS lockout drills too plus the basic KB exercises Dead Lift, Goblet Squat, Swing. I also did a few extra minutes of walking later that night.

Total Time: 30+ minutes

Comments: I love what I do. I help others be WELL--primarily through being Fit and Strong by igniting their fighting spirits. On the physiology side, I'm getting more and more efficiency out of the corrective strategies that I use because more and more I'm tapping into the CNS-Central Nervous System. The nervous system is the fastest system in the body--things rock when you can tweak the master control system. I get stoked watching a group of people walk in with all sorts of dysfunctions in movement then walking out less than three hours later with SIGNIFICANT improvements and enhanced quality of movement...which also means SAFER movements...a big deal in "corporate" wellness Comrades. It was a great day today. I am reminded that the struggles are worth it in proving corporate wellness when you see what is on the other end...lives are changed...America regains some strength--that is good. The future is STRENGTH! There is no future in weakness and disease.

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 22

"When it comes to eating right and exercising,
there is no 'I'll start tomorrow' Tomorrow is disease."
--V.L. Allineare

Mood: 6-7

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, Double kettlebell clean & press with 16kg

Total Time: 35 minutes

Comments: I was chatting with someone doing the 30X30 and reminded that it's NOT easy to do 30 days in a row of exercise...with NO EXCUSES! Days go by then weeks then months then years and now even a decade plus for me in wellness...time slips away and health even faster if you don't kick your own ass and work for it. It's EASY to make excuses about why you don't have time to exercise...but again...who is really winning if you don't take the time for vehicle maintenance? Yeah...a few days here and there if better than nothing. The question is will it be enough in the moment of truth? So today I was digging out myself after a couple of stressful days. Today was stressful too, but I felt my spirits lift in the cold garage one rep at a time. Cold iron. Cold air. Warming spirit Comrades.

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 21

Mood: 3 if that...

Workout: Slow walk in cold rain

Total Time: 30 minutes

Comments: What goes up--comes crashing down. Today was not a good day for me. Way too stressful. Trying to get tax stuff organized I didn't even know was due in a few days...five years on the road working out of state has come full circle in the form of crushing stress. I became overwhelmed and went for a walk in the rain storm--fortunately I could at least find my wax sealed hiking hat in all this moving box mess around here! The walk took the edge off my anger and kept me from totally imploding--barely. This was another example of how I think some very SIMPLE exercise has kept me alive. The crap is still staring me in the face, but at least I mellowed out enough to survive another day. It's 11:30 PM. I just finished the tax filing I can stomach for one day. Tomorrow more filing...and another 30 minutes of exercise!

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 20

Rest break on the 101 outside Santa Barbara...Z ya!

Mood: 6-7

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, KB Turkish Get Ups with 16kg, KB Arm Bars, TRX stretches

Total Time: 30 minutes
Comments: I was pretty wasted by the time I got home after about a five hour drive in horrendous weather. Major rain storms today along the CA 101 as I returned to SoCal from the central coast area. That kind of driving takes a lot out of you. I was thankful to be home with the family, but alas, my daily 30 beckoned, so it was right out to the garage in the cold with the rain outside the open door. Felt good though. Really needed to work on my body after sitting so much in my car. People sit too damn much today! I refuse to buy into that all this sitting is okay. The LEAST we can do is move 30 minutes per day...the LEAST!!!

Making it Happen, -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 19

Mood: 9

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, Double Kettlebells tonight! Double snatches, cleans, presses, plus some arm bars and other stuff too.

Total Time: 45 minutes or more...lost count because of all the pain and fun...

Comments: There are not many things in my life better than working out in the garage with my friends. Tonight, I was at Luke's with the new kettlebell upgrades I got from the Pavel workshop last weekend. We had a righteous workout! Got a great pump with many corrective benefits as well. Cranked some heavy metal for even more mood enhancement...that plus KB just doesn't get much better. The SIMPLE things in cannot buy--just SWEAT and very hard WORK.

In SWEAT and ACTION, -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 18

Mood: 3 which upgraded to 7

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, KB TGUs, strength stretching

Total Time: 30+ minutes

Comments: Today started bad with major stress then I got in the car for a three plus hour drive to my next job...arghhh. I finally got into the gym around 6:30 I think. I warmed up then did some Turkish Get Ups with my 16kg kettlebell and a little stretching too. I was surprised at my mood improvement! I'm glad I hit the workout because I went to bed with less mental baggage...tomorrrow is another day to start again...

In MOVEment, -Coach RJ

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 17

Mood: 7

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, KB arm bars

Total Time: 35 minutes

Comments: Today was just joint mobility for the most part. I did plenty of WORK yesterday in the Pavel workshop, so today was easy recovery and spending time with my family.

In MOVEment, -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 16

RJ, Pavel, & Tim Johnson-Return of the Kettlebell Workshop
San Diego-January 2010

Mood: 9

Workout: "Return of the Kettlebell" Workshop with Pavel. Many double KB drills, joint mobility, building mass with KB protocols, etc. Lots of cleans and jerks today, double snatches, kneeling cleans, push presses, and tons of other stuff too including Z-Health over lunch.

Total Time: 8 hours!

Comments: What a day. Tim Johnson from work went with me this weekend. We both did really well and had a great time. LOTS of work today! Enjoy!

In Heavy Metal ACTION Today, -Coach RJ

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 15

Mood: 8

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, various KB exercises to grease the groove and loosen up a bit before we hit the Pavel Kettlebell workshop in San Diego tomorrow...just light workout...nothing that hard today in terms of exertion because there will be PLENTY of exertion all day tomorrow with Pavel!!!

Total Time: 30 minutes

Comments: I have not done this workout yet but WILL do it in a couple of hours when my comrade Tim Johnson arrives who is going with me to San Diego...yeah...I'm NOT Jillian Michaels, so I won't be telling y'all I'm too busy to workout for a full month! When RJ does not workout for a full month, I'll probably be dead or in a coma, but it will never be by choice!!!

In MOVEment, -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 14

Mood: 8

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Cat/Camel & Press Up spinal mobility, Core Bridging

Total Time: 30+ minutes

Comments: My workout tonight was leading my corporate clients through a two-hour workshop teaching them my RJ Dynamic Warm-Up along with two great exercises I use when people are down on their backs to get them restored and pain free ASAP which are the Cat/Camels and Press Ups and then taught them how to the most important back exercise series for prevention of back pain and back injuries which was the Core Bridging positions (also called planks). I had employees, spouses, and children there at the workshop. It was a nice evening. I enjoy working with the families at times. That is Corporate Wellness my friends! Not just three sets of ten but helping a company and company families change culture from sickness and disease to health, wellness, and STRENGTH. Be part of the solution are your end. Get Fit. Be Strong. Move Well--for LIFE!!!
Don't know how to start moving well? Check into my RJ Dynamic Warm-Up now shipped to 8 countries and 28 states across America and being used with multiple populations from youth to corporate to collegiate athletics.

In MOVEment, -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 13

Mood: 8

Workout: Spinal mobility with the Cat/Camel and Press Up then KB Turkish Get Ups with 16kg, some KB Clean & Press with 20kg followed by 30 minutes straight of leg work using the Tabata Protocol with Prisoner Squats and Box Lunges. If you're outside my corporate wellness coverage, you might not know about the Tabata Protocol intervals I use--one of my secret conditioning weapons that I use for not only corporate clients of all ages but also my collegiate football players during preseason. Tabata was a Japanese exercise physiolgist that studied Olympic speed skate training and come up with a great protocol for intensity and time using interval training. I don't know anyone that uses the Tabatas quite like I use them--just body weight with large leg movements, but I must say, they have amazing results even though we don't use any equipment with them. Interested? Check out my Tabata Protocol Handout, or if you are so inclined, check into my whole interval section on H.I.I.T.-High Intensity Interval Training.

Total Time: 60 minutes

Comments: It's a good night when you have to work your butt off just to keep up with one of your corporate clients over age 40 that is in such great shape! Scott always challenges me when I'm in Ventura to be the real deal. A lot of "so-called" health and fitness "professionals" don't even workout on a daily basis or eat well themselves. That's crap. Jillian Michaels was on the TV the other day flapping her jaw about how she was too busy the last month to exercise. NO EXERCISE for a month for her?!!! UNACCEPTABLE considering her position. That's not how I "ROLE" my fitness and health friends.

In Sweat--DAILY! -Coach RJ

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 12

Mood: 7-8

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, KB dead lift, goblet squat, and snatch with 24kg. After DWU, worked about 20 minutes doing reps at the top of each minute: 10 swings or 5+5 snatches.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Comments: I was exhausted tonight. My mood was pretty good, it was just that I was wiped out after a busy Monday and Tuesday with a two hour drive home on the 405 freeway. I had to be realistic and cut back my volume. Instead of doing 20 swings per minute, I just did 10 because that was all I could handle and control. Not enough gas in the tank to handle the extra. So much going on lately...moderation is key to having longevity with daily exercise. Scale up or down, but hang in there and keeping getting it on at some level Comrades! By the end of the workout, I noticed a few drops of sweat in the garage, so mission accomplished!

In Sweat, -Coach RJ

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 11

Mood: 8*

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, easy-paced beach run along sand and bike path in Huntington Beach

Total Time: 65 minutes

Comments: It was a good day for me personally with my workout. I got to run with three of my work friends which is always nice. Stunning weather here! In the 70s for January--amazing! *But, my heart is a bit heavy today. A nice person at work that was apparently fit and healthy collapsed and passed away. It upset a lot of people that I work with this week. I did not know him, but knew many people that did...we are all very sad about it...there are no guarantees in life. Statistically speaking, if you exercise daily and eat well, you'll have a longer life with less health problems. Nonetheless, there are NO guarantees that this will always happen. It's important to make the most out of the time we have. A lot of people I have seen in the years I've been in Wellness waste so much time thinking life will last forever...they put things off far too long. Something happens like the above to make you realize just how short and fragile life can be.
The time is NOW my fitness friends. TODAY is the day--NOT tomorrow! As my friend Jack LaLanne said, "Get up each morning, kick yourself in the butt, and make it happen!"
In Flow, -Coach RJ

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 10

Mood: 8

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, Z-Health, other joint mobility, and a little yoga...

Total Time: 30 minutes

Comments: My brother was still visiting, so I did not do any hard workouts today. After he left, I opted to come in the house and do my warm-up, Z-Health, and various other joint mobility in front of the was just one of those days, BUT, I still got my 30 minutes! I was really tired. Struggling with my energy levels because so much has been going on that I normally do not have to do such as moving, unpacking, home projects, etc. Regardless, it is still important for me to take at least 30 minutes per day just for my health and pays off in the end...
In Gentle MOVEment today -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 9

Mood: 9

Workout: Coach RJ Dynamic Warm-Up, KBs, walking with family

Total Time: 60+ minutes

Comments: Today was a great day of activity for me. I worked with many of my corporate clients early in the day so got some good exercise teaching them my Dynamic Warm-Up plus a few other things. I came home and worked with my kettlebell a little doing some bent press and Turkish Get Ups then went for a walk with my brother Marc who is doing the 30X30 too. My son Cade also walked with us. I felt like the Pied Piper of fitness today which is always a good day. Beautiful 70+ degree weather in SoCal today...perfect.

In Sweat! -Coach RJ

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 8

Mood: 6

Workout: Joint mobility, KBs, DBs, Z-Health

Total Time: 30 minutes

Comments: My God! Another major day of stress challenges! I swear if it was not for my daily exercise, I'd be DEAD by now! More new home equipment failures today, major banking hassles, etc. I decided to just get right down with the KBs after my warm up tonight. Hit 2:00 straight with the 24kg swings, rest a few minutes, then launched into minute sets hitting around 18-20 swings at the top of each minute for 10:00. Finished with a few old school sets of DB chest press with 65# supersetted with DB straight curls with 25#.
I've lost a lot of fitness with all the moving stuff the last few months. Dealt with the 2:00 of swings better than I thought but when I hit the minute sets they nearly dropped me in my tracks. After 15 minutes of kettlebells, I was wasted and shaking...and still had 15 more minutes to workout! Hit the DBs then finished with some Z-Health back in the house. MAJOR reality check tonight. Time to get back into the saddle now that we are in the home. Stop screwing around with the foo foo...and kick serious ass--MY OWN! This works better for me and my personality. Light workouts are fine--just not to the point of losing fitness for me.
Way cool rest break tonight to watch the space station fly over our local mountain range in the slightly cool SoCal evening...pretty fast shooting star...many of our neighbors were all out there watching together. It was fun.
In Sweat! -Coach RJ

The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge: Day 7

Mood: 7

Workout: Joint mobility, running, walking

Total Time: 30 minutes

Comments: My "force the fitness" workout last night snapped me out of the funk to short-circuit the negative loop I got into for a few hours because of all life's BS. I'm convinced that the mood enhancement alone is worth the 30 minutes each day! Today, I got to take another run in my new Nike Free 5.0 running shoes. After I got back, I wanted something more mellow so just walked around the block and looked at all the homes as I cruised was a nice way to finish the last five minutes. Pretty low-key tonight...

In MOVEment...EVERY DAY! Coach RJ